Gilbert Improved As Tournament Moved Along

Rod Gilbert was like every other Canadian player and fan totally overestimated the Soviet team. After just a few minutes into game one he felt that his thoughts were correct.

"When I got on the ice," remembered Rod Gilbert in Scott Morrison's excellent book The Days Canada Stood Still, "it was already 2-0. Before I played my first shift it was 2-0, so I'm sitting on the bench saying, 'Let me on. Let me score my goals.' I figured it was going to be 15, 17-0, and I wanted to score a few goals."

Of course things quickly changed, and before the end of the game the Russians had the full respect of Gilbert and the rest of Team Canada.

Gilbert only played in one more game in Canada, but did play in all 4 games in Moscow. Like the rest of the team, Gilbert got better as the series went along.

An NHL veteran, Gilbert's leadership in the dressing room was an important cog of this team. Gilbert's only goal was in the third period of game 7. That goal gave Team Canada an early shift in momentum, which they needed to go on to win the game and live to fight another day. Gilbert was the only Canadian player to get into a fight as well.

That other day of course was game 8, and literally featured a fight between Gilbert and Evgeni Mishakov who allegedly kicked Gilbert in the back of the leg.

Gilbert also helped set up an important goal in that game. He set up Bill White's only goal of the series, which at the time tied the game at 3.

Gilbert often played with his boyhood friend and long time NHL centerman Jean Ratelle. However their usual left wing linemate Vic Hadfield didn't get much of a chance to play. Instead Dennis Hull often found himself on the Goal A Game line.


1972 Summit Player Profile
 Team Canada
 #8 - Rod Gilbert - Right Wing

Position: RW
Shoots: Right
Height: 5-9
Weight: 180
Born: 7/1/1941 Montreal, Quebec
1972 NHL Team: New York Rangers

Summit Series Statistics

8 1 3 4 9 8 14 1

Other Team Canada Appearances
Gilbert was one of several big names to represent Canada in the nation's return to the world championships in 1977. The team would only finish fourth, however.

NHL Career Notes - A consistent player over his 16 year Hall of Fame Career, Gilbert is considered to be the greatest player in New York Ranger history - even ahead of names like Frank Boucher, Eddie Giacomin and Mark Messier.

A member of the Goal-A-Game Line with Ratelle and Hadfield, Gilbert was known for his high speed offensive attack.

Career NHL Statistics
Regular Season 1065 406 615 1021 508
NHL Playoffs  79 34 33 67 43


Book Feature
Read Ron Gilbert's memories of the Summit Series in Team Canada 1972: Where Are They Now?  By Brian McFarlane $21.26 Cdn


Special Offers

1972 Summit Series Games

Game One
Game Two
Game Three
Game Four
Game Five
Game Six
Game Seven
Game Eight

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Canada's Team of the Century